WNBL 2014/15 Round 2 Recap

Lightning on the board with win over Rangers

Adelaide got their first win of the WNBL season with a 68-63 result over an under strength Dandenong at home.

The Rangers started stronger and held a seven point lead at the first break after a high-scoring opening 10 minutes, however the Lightning recovered and levelled things up by the main break, setting the scene for a pulsating second half.

The visitors, who were missing Alice Kunek once more and Lauren Scherf, kept their noses in front for most of the third period before a Kathleen Scheer (11 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists) three-pointer put her side in front in with 12 minutes to play in the match.

Despite drawing level on multiple occasions early in the final term, the Rangers simply couldn’t find the extra gear to get in front, with six straight points from Laura Hodges (16 points, 8 rebounds) giving her side breathing space and a winning lead with under two minutes to play.

Hodges and Emma Langford (12 points, 8 rebounds) formed a strong partnership inside, while for Dandenong it was Tegan Cunningham (19 points, 6 rebounds) and Cappie Pondexter (19 points, 5 rebounds, 8 assists) who did the damage but they lacked the support as their side tasted defeat for the first time in 2014/15.

Adelaide 68 (Hodges 16, Langford 12, Scheer 11)

Dandenong 63 (Pondexter 19, Cunningham 19, Pickrel 11)

Spirit falters early; rectify themselves with second quarter blitz of Capitals

An awful first quarter which saw the Bendigo Spirit score just eight points was quickly erased throughout the second period which set up their victory over the University of Canberra Capitals.

Gabe Richards was everywhere as she seemed to shoot the lights out of the Bendigo stadium. 10-12 from the field for a total of 20 points to go along with eight rebounds and three assists.

While the Spirit’s starting backcourt had much trouble finding their shooting rhythm (Lavey 2-10FG, Snell 1-9FG), it was their bench who were able to stifle the Caps and then create much needed offence down the other end.

A total of 22 bench points made it difficult down the stretch for the Caps to pull back the slender margin.

Canberra’s first quarter shut out was many thanks to star centre Abby Bishop, who chalked up her double double only minutes into the second quarter. Bishop finished with 19 points, 18 rebounds, three steals and two blocks in one of the performances of the round.

Bendigo then had to quickly recover from the win as they were to face the Melbourne Boomers in less than 24 hours.

Bendigo 67 (Richards 20, Aubry 7, Griffin 7)

University of Canberra 60 (Bishop 19, Talbot 11, Bibby 10)

Late Rangers charge not enough as Sydney Uni hand them winless weekend

Despite the Dandenong Rangers’ best efforts in the final quarter; it was the Sydney Uni Flames who struck gold on the road with an 81-78 victory over their opponents.

The Flames were led by the strong shooting of Katie-Rae Ebzery (24 points) in which she went 4-5 from international waters. She was helped out by excellent play from both Mikaela Ruef (18 points, 13 rebounds) and Leilani Mitchell (6 points, 10 rebounds, 8 assists).

Dandenong were kept in the game by star import Cappie Pondexter, who had her best game while in the country. A total of 30 points and 10 rebounds from Pondexter meant that the Rangers could pull within two late in the last quarter.

Clutch plays from Ebzery, Mitchell and Paris Johnson kept the Rangers at bay.

Dandenong 78 (Pondexter 30, MacLeod 16, Pickrel 15)

Sydney Uni 81 (Ebzery 24, Ruef 18, Cox 11)

Boomers brave yet their Spirit not strong enough to get by Bendigo

Photo Credit: Michelle Couling Photography

Photo Credit: Michelle Couling Photography

The Melbourne Boomers went down fighting on Sunday afternoon at the State Basketball Centre, dropping an entertaining contest to the Bendigo Spirit 67-76.

Bendigo, led by Opals forward Gabe Richards found a spark down the latter stages of the fourth quarter to entail a come from behind victory. Richards was simply too strong once she managed to find a way into the paint, finishing with a game high 21 points and 13 rebounds.

While Melbourne led at every change, it was once again their second half collapse which was to blame for their third consecutive loss to start the 2014/15 WNBL season.

Their six point quarter time lead dwindled to four by half time and then three at the final change. A steady pace set by the Boomers, was then given away in the final few minutes as the mental challenge started to play a part.

Empty trips saw Melbourne score just four points in the final three minutes, before Olivia Thompson scored at the horn, which eventually saw the Spirit run away nine point winners.

Melbourne Boomers 67 (Thompson 15, Cole 14, Allen 13)

Bendigo Spirit 76 (Richards 21, Snell 18, Blicavs 13)

Waves crash as Fire runs hot

Townsville has sent West Coast crashing back to earth with a 93-58 thumping in the final game of round two.

The Fire won their second game in as many matches and won every quarter along the way as the visitors were handed their first loss of the season in emphatic fashion.

A 20-11 first term and 26-11 final term by Townsville set up the win as five players hit double digits, leaving their opponents to rethink their standing in the competition after a promising opening round victory over Adelaide.

Inside duo Cayla Francis (19 points, 11 rebounds, 8-13 FG in 21 minutes) and Suzie Batkovic (17 points, 15 rebounds in 25 minutes) were simply unstoppable, scoring at will and only being stopped by their coach as he emptied the benches early.

Waves star import Lindsey Moore couldn’t emulate her impressive debut, finishing with 10 points on 4-of-17 shooting, with Louella Tomlinson (14 points, 4 blocks, 5-6 FG) leading her side.

Townsville 93 (Francis 19, Batkovic 17, Newley 12)

West Coast 58 (Tomlinson 14, Moore 10, Garbin 8)